I think we all are at times :)
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But they are special hours.
I've had someone say to me, "I really can't play those low notes very well at all"........my mind said, (you can't really play the middle or high range ones very well either) but just politely didn't answer him at all. I will say this much, if you are going to play any notes, make sure you have them and can manage them before you make someone else listen to them.
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Perhaps they are teaching, or at least assessing range before tone because range, or the lack of it, could show up problems in students that are developing a bad embouchure which could subsequently limit their range unless it is fixed early on. I had an issue just like this as a kid, where I could play well in the low and mid ranges, then when it came to the point of exploring the higher ranges I was stuffed due to a terrible embouchure I had developed that made it impossible to go higher. I had to completely redevelop my embouchure before I could continue, and then catch up with the other students. If the teacher had have started with range soonber, my issue would have been picked up sooner, and at a point where it would have been easier to adjust before it became a comfortable habit.
Tone on the other hand is dependent on the ear of the student and the development of that is something that comes with time and experience. Teaching tone and tune is one thing, but a student actually being able to hear it for them selves and therefore fix it, can only come with time unless they have a good natural ear, or have developed their ear from leaning another instrument previously.
I think it is because we have to learm to hear the sound in our head, to get the sound out the front of the horn. And I do believe that at the early stages most learners on trumpets are like young kids - they don't listen, they yell. It takes a lot more effort to develop a good sound, and maturity helps. Range is the easy part to learn for the mostly written music.
I feel like I have been in "Purgatory" for a while, but left the "Meat-head" attitude behind a long time ago. The best people to comment on your tone, is the audience. I honestly think that I still don't know for sure how I sound. That is where a good teacher will help a student, and save time, and educate the ear.
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I think that range is a parameter even understood by musical idiots (I can hit triple q#). Identifying phrasing or musicality means that you need some capability first.......... Nope, this is purely a case of mine is bigger than yours!
I disagree that "teachers" focus on range. It may seem that way for a student with a statistical deviation of one..........,,,
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
I'll add one more comment to this thread expounding on what I said earlier about the music teenagers listen to and the influence it has on your mindset concerning range vs other aspects of trumpet playing.
I'm a comeback player in my mid 50s. I have been working hard at all of the aspects of playing a trumpet well for around 2 years now. I play long tones, lip slurs, all of the major and minor scales, pedal tones, flexibility exercises, and range work every day. I listen to orchestral music daily and although I don't compete, I work on a different "contest solo piece" every week. I focus on breathing, phrasing, and playing without excessive pressure. Yet this week while doing my range work I rediscovered the double high C. And this time, unlike my teen years, I can continue playing afterwards because I am doing it the right way.
But evidently all of my early musical influences are still very much with me, 'cuase guess which band I have had dreams of playing with the past few nights. It wasn't the CSO, and I wasn't doing gigs with Phillip Smith...... I was talking to, joking with and playing with Maynard!
So even us old guys can suffer from a little excessive testosterone on occasion, and my trumpet teacher has nothing to do with my desire to play high..... :)
I used to play a Jet-Tone, but now I've gone Bach,
Trumpet - Benge (MLP bore)
Flugelhorn - Schilke 1040
Bass - Ibanez SR755
Just last night I was with a student, and we spent the first half of the lesson on breathing, relaxing, and playing soft long tones. I asked him to be aware of the sound of the horn, the vibration of his lips in the mouthpiece, and the air moving through the aperture and through the horn.
To me, intonation and tone quality are top priorities always. Range and endurance will follow with regular (and smart) practicing.
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